We’ve all heard of, and potentially even set for ourselves, the classic goal of reading 52 books in year, aka book a week. This might seem impossible for some or barely scratch the surface of a year’s reading for others. The team at Rowanvale Books are here to remind you that both of those options are completely okay! It’s 2022 – everyone has too much going on to worry about arbitrary metrics like how many books they read. That being said, we of course still believe in the power of books and what reading can do for you. Be it a quick escape from the world around us, a chance to learn about something new, or a social activity, time spent reading is always time well spent.
Here at Rowanvale, we understand how overwhelming it can be to set yourself a goal for how many books you want to read in a year. The scramble towards the end to find as short a book as possible to up your count may leave you reading books you’re not actually that interested in. Reading in your free time should never feel like homework, which is why we’ve put together a list of alternative goals and challenges for the new year to keep you excited and, most importantly, to keep you reading! Here’s our list for 2022:
TIME SPENT READING
Despite what we’ve said above, some people really enjoy metrics and numeric goals and can find them easier to achieve since they seem more tangible. An alternative to a certain number of books, and a possibly more approachable goal, is to aim to spend a certain amount of time reading. This could be an hour a day, ten hours a week or whatever else fits into your schedule! Maybe you listen to music while you walk the dogs in the morning or have the radio on while you’re cooking dinner; try replacing these with audiobooks to meet your goals! Or cut out an episode a day of your favourite Netflix show from your routine and replace it with an hour spent reading your book; that way the series will last longer, and you’ll get an extra hour of reading in! Incorporating some new daily habits into your life is a great, low pressure way to meet your reading goals in the new year.
JOIN A BOOK CLUB/BOOK SWAPS
Depending on where you are in the world, this may not be possible to do in person right now, but by this point I don’t think there are many people left who wouldn’t call themselves a Zoom aficionado! Oprah has been running an online book club since 1996 (!), so if it was possible then, it can only have gotten better by now. A quick internet search will bring up a whole host of opportunities, but you could also set one up with your friends or family by creating your own Facebook group and each taking it turns to pick the book of the week or month. Not only will this shake up your reading throughout the year, but it’ll also help you get to know more about the people you love by gaining an insight into the types of things they enjoy reading.
DIVERSIFY YOUR READING
I’m sure our Rowanvale team aren’t the only ones who sometimes feel like they’re stuck in a certain genre or type of book. There’s nothing wrong with knowing what you like, but sometimes it’s fun to try something new! You never know, you might find your new favourite book in a corner of the bookstore you would never have dreamed of approaching last year. Make a list of some genres you’ve not read before and try reading a book from one of them each month, or make every third book you read this year something you wouldn’t have read last year. Here’s a few genre ideas to get you started:
READ IN DIFFERENT LOCATIONS
Perhaps you’re already reading a wide variety of books but still feeling uninspired looking at you 2022 to-be-read list. Mixing up your reading locations is a great way to refresh your love for books! If you’re usually curled up on the sofa with a cuppa, try taking yourself (or a loved one) on a little coffee shop date (Covid restrictions pending). If the sun’s shining wherever you are, head to a local park and get yourself some fresh air and get lost in nature while you get lost in your book! For full immersion in what you’re reading, you could try reading in locations similar to those in the book! Head down to the beach if you’re reading a holiday romance, or maybe a museum café if you’re diving into the world of historical fiction!
KEEP A READING JOURNAL
Keeping a reading journal or setting up a Goodreads account is a brilliant way of keeping track of your reading goals this year, whichever one you choose. You’ll be able to reflect back at the end of year and find yourself in a better position to talk to others about what you’ve read, as well as pick out what you want to read over the next year. You can write full reviews (check out our blog post about why authors appreciate being left reviews, as it also includes why they’re important), a quick star rating or just a brief synopsis of the story to help jog your memory when you look back at all that you’ve read come December 31st.
We really hope these ideas will help to spark some inspiration over the next year and help you avoid and overcome any reading slumps! At the end of the day, Rowanvale Books firmly believe that reading is for everyone and there’s no right or wrong way to do it, whatever books you choose to read, and wherever you choose to read.